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NYCM Training: Workouts and 5ks

NYCM Training: Workouts and 5ks

This was the first week that the weather felt as though it broke. It’s been so hot the last few weeks, so it was nice for better weather. Unfortunately, towards the end of the week life, fatigue, and everything else caught up with me. I was left both exhausted and tired. No big deal and I was still able to get quality races and long runs in.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 6X800s with 800 jog between (total 12 miles)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Book It 5k (2.9-3 miles) average 6:30 pace (total 9 miles)
Sunday: Long Run (18 miles)
Total: 58.5 miles

As I mentioned last week, when I run easy runs for an hour, I just average them to be 6.5 miles. They might be 6.1 or 6.8, but it doesn’t really matter. I just run easy, and the pace isn’t that important to me.

Workout Wednesday: 6X800 with 800 jog in between

I wanted to switch it up from doing 400s so ran 800s.  I do all of my workouts on roads.  It was perfect weather, and while I didn’t feel great, I didn’t feel terrible either.  I was happy with the workout, and with a warmup and cooldown, I ended up with about 12 miles for the day.

Book It 5k:

The Book It 5k is out of the Cherry Hill Library. It’s a great cause, and I enjoyed it last year.

The course was short, and I didn’t feel great but was able to run about 6:30 miles. I think I would have probably finished around 20 minutes which untapered is where I thought I would be. It was my first 5k since June, and I have forgotten how painful they are.  It’s hard to get a good idea of where I am fitness wise with the 5k because that course was short, I felt like garbage, and it was a mix of terrain.

cherry hill book it 5k

I look forward to doing more 5ks under my belt. I probably won’t taper for many, if any, but they will be good workouts.

Long Run: 18 miles
2 miles easy.
4 miles (average 7:07).
4 miles easy.
4 miles (average 7:05).
4 miles easy.

I would have liked to have been closer to 7 for harder effort, however, I racing the day before that didn’t happen.  I’m happy with the long run and realistically, my goal is to stay healthy from start to finish of the race. It was raining but it felt a lot better than the heat.

Thoughts:  

In all, I’m happy with my week.  I’ll probably plan to have something similar next week.  I don’t plan to do a lot of 20+ mile runs as I don’t want to get injured.  I will do at least 2 more 20 mile runs but I have no plans to run much longer than that (if longer at all).

Posts from the Week:

Air Force Half Marathon (1:31.12)

I Have a Fall Goal Race

Vanilla Almond Recovery Protein Smoothie Recipe

Questions for you:

Do you prefer shorter races or longer?

How was your week of training?   

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Air Force Half Marathon (1:31.12)

The Air Force Half Marathon this year was hot, very hot.  So hot, they drew a black flag and canceled the race around 11-11:30.  I’ve never partaken in a race that has happened, but with so many half marathons, I guess there is a first for everything.

First and foremost, the aid during the race was immaculate, and you couldn’t ask for better support. There were personnel almost every ¼ mile and aid stations every 1.5.  That was never the issue.  The issue was at race start it was already well above 70 and very humid. When I finished the race around 10 is, it was a feels like temp of 88. Last year, I ran a 1:27.28 in better weather but wasn’t in as good of shape.

I know I’m in better fitness than a 1:31, but you have to race for the day which includes how your body feels, the weather, and the course (Two weeks ago, I ran the Boothbay half in 1:29.50 on a much harder course).  To be honest, I never felt great, and the race turned into a longer workout/run.  That’s okay, and I am proud of this finish like any other race I’ve done.

My husband and I drove from NJ to central PA on Thursday (My in-laws live there).  We picked up my father in law and drove the last 6 hours to Dayton, Ohio. Driving that far the day before a race is not my favorite thing to do but with work schedules that’s how the cookie crumbles.  We got to the expo late, didn’t get to stay long, and booked it just before 6, so we wouldn’t get stuck on closed roads due to the 5k.  Everything about the night and morning felt rushed.

The following morning was just as chaotic, and there was an accident in front of the base. The roads were closed, and we made it with just under an hour to spare. Walking the 1.5 miles to the start was enough of a warmup, and I could already feel how hot it was.

The Race:

At the start, I chatted with a few various people.  The race went off at 8:30 and I just ran my own race.  The Air Force half is interesting because it consists of a lot of people who have never run a half marathon but have some sort of military/Air Force connection. I am always happy for them, but it also doesn’t have a corral system, so the first mile is often jam-packed with people who have taken the race out too fast.  Then they quickly realize they have another 12 miles to go.

I hit the mile in 6:59 and I knew immediately it would not be the race I wanted. I wasn’t upset and just ran for the day.

The next two miles went by without any real interest.  I chatted with a few people including a pilot from Illinois, a college ROTC kid running his first half, and retired military officer. It made time go by faster and by the time I knew it, I was at mile 3.

Between mile 3-4, I saw a few C-17s taking off at an adjacent runway. They were planes that had been moved due to the Hurricane Florance.  Not a planned race thing, but a lot were taking off throughout the race.  It made for fun, and interesting scenery. I passed one female in that time. I had no idea where I was in placing, and it didn’t really matter to me either.

Around mile 5, the race started to get hot. I take Gatorade, every time it’s offered in 10+ mile races. At the race, I took at least 2 gatorade cups and water at each stop. It definitely kept me hydrated.

Air force marathon dayton ohio

From 5-6, I just wanted to make it halfway. Around this point, the flags went from yellow to red which was indicated at an aid station. I knew it was getting worse and I was already completely sweating through my clothing.

We trucked along, and by the time I knew it, we were at mile 7.  I was talking to a guy going to UVA just bantering about random stuff.  If there is one thing I do, is talk. I always warn people and if someone doesn’t want to talk, I won’t keep doing it.

At the Air Force Half, mile 8, begins the harder portions of the course.  For the most part, the first 7 miles are relatively flat, with a few turns, and hills but nothing crazy.  Then mile 8 and beyond are rolling hills and running up overpasses.

Air force half marathon dayton ohio

I knew I was pushing myself, but I wasn’t pushing myself to the limit of when I PRed in February. I had plenty left in my tank for hills and for finishing strong, and I was going too.  Up the hills, down the hills, I went the same pace and still averaged about 7:00 minutes.

I passed another female who had passed me earlier, on the overpass at mile 8. The next two miles were spent trucking along alone, and focusing on mile 10. Mile 10 was when I planned to just go.

At mile 10, a hand crank passed me.  I caught a few people walking up the hills between 10-11.  I wasn’t as fatigued as if it was a hard race and I was just trucking along and running faster than the first miles. I ran mile 10 in 6:50 and even with the hills, I was pleased.  I guess the gatorades hit me late.

Air force half marathon dayton ohio

The next mile, I ran alone and just focused on people in front. I wanted to catch every person I could see because it gave me something to think about.  That was my goal to keep my brain engaged with the race. It hot and I needed something. I grabbed water and just trucked along. I high fived a little kid.  I was surprised that I ran the next mile in 6:42.

You enter the base of Wright Patterson at mile 12.  You can see the finish line in the distance and know you still have an entire mile to go. For some reason, I thought “so many women were on my tail”, and I sprinted like I had one race for the rest of my life.  (Probably because in 2017, I was outkicked in races 5-6 times…many for wins).  I passed no less than 5 men in the final mile, and they were probably like…WTF.

Air force half marathon dayton ohio

I ran the last mile in 6:36 and finished in 1:31.12. I was pleased with my time for the day. While yes, I know I’m in better shape than a 1:31 and I would have loved the opportunity to race that, it wasn’t the day and the day will come.

Air force half marathon dayton ohio

I like the Air Force half, not just because my husband is in the Air Force, but I do think it’s a good course and has a good support.  Now that the new refueler, the KC-46 (which replaces my husband’s plane, the KC-10…one day), is going to be the plane of next year…I feel like we have to go back to 2019. 😉

Questions for you:

What is the hottest race you’ve done?

What is one race you enjoy doing?

Vanilla Almond Recovery Protein Smoothie Recipe

Vanilla Almond Recovery Protein Smoothie Recipe

I thought by now, we would be dealing with colder weather and I would be making some hot, pumpkin spice, beverage…but here we are!  An 80 degree September day!  I’m still drinking smoothies after runs, but the fact that I’m drinking a recovery smoothie is something I’m proud of already.

As many people know by now, I’m a Vital Proteins Ambassador. As an ambassador, I get to try products and authentically post about them.  I’m not being paid, but if Vital Proteins and Collagen has helped me, it will more than likely help someone else too.

You can learn more about the benefits of Collagen here.

Each month I try and post a recipe I’ve been personally using.  Some I hesitate to call “recipes” because they are: add these things and put into a blender.  Maybe I should say, I try and post “flavor combinations”.

With the heat, I’m still enjoying smoothies.  This month I’ve been enjoying the Vital Proteins Banana Cinnamon Whey.

Vanilla Almond Recovery Protein Smoothie Recipe vital proteinsI’ve made a smoothie after each run or workout to recover faster and honestly, I have been!  After runs, workouts, and races, this smoothie is the first thing I’ve had.

I’ve mentioned before in passing, but I’m not a peanut butter, “diehard”.  I like nut butter, but I don’t go through them weekly.   I’ve been including them into my diet to both up calories and to include more “healthy fats” in my diet.  I find adding some almonds and nut butter (whatever I have on hand) keeps me fuller for longer.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Scoops Banana Cinnamon Whey Vital Protein
  • 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup Oatmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon Almond or Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Almonds

Add ice and blend.

So that the smoothie isn’t “protein-rich” or “fat rich,” I also added oatmeal which actually blends well and I’m proud of how it turned out.  I like the Vital Proteins Why because it contains protein which I’ve found to help recover faster.

Vanilla Almond Recovery Protein Smoothie Recipe vital proteins

Here are more Vital Protein Collagen posts:

Skin Benefits from Collagen

Recovering with Collagen Protein

Hair and Nail Benefits of Collagen

Differences of Collagen Peptides and Gelatin

Recipes:

Vital Proteins Recovery Smoothie

Questions for you:

Are you good about consuming calories after a run?

What is your smoothie recipe?

Training Last Week: Hot..and also Hot

Training Last Week: Hot..and also Hot

Last week was a good training week.  I had a good workout and a solid race at the Air Force Half Marathon for the conditions given.  New Jersey was hot again last year, and it’s been hard to crave anything pumpkin when it’s also 90 degrees outside.  That being said, you can’t control the weather and only adjust.

Monday: 6.5 miles easy with Alana (8:32 pace)
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 3X1 mile with 1 mile jog in between (total miles 10)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Air Force Half Marathon 13.1 (1:31.12)
Sunday: Easy 60 minutes
Total: 49.1

Thoughts:

My easy runs were easy, as usual.  On Monday, I ran with a friend, Alana, who was in town.  She has run under 3 hours in the marathon and is a bit faster than me.  I didn’t charge my watch, but she said we ran 6.5 miles at 8:32 pace.  It was faster than I would typically do an easy run alone, and I enjoyed catching up.

The rest of my runs were easy.  Both Friday and Sunday were in central PA, which is far more hilly than NJ.

In case, you were curious, all of my hour runs to be 6.5 miles. (It might be 6.2 or maybe 7 depending on the day…but the minimal difference all evens out and doesn’t matter).

Wednesday: 3X1 mile averaging 6:20 pace (6:18, 6:20, 6:21). (2 miles warm up/cool down)

The weather on Wednesday was hot, and the humidity was 100%.  With weather that hot, and humid, I wanted to stay local and close to water.  I did mile repeats, with a mile jog around a nice loop.

Before the workout started, I had written it off that it would be “bad.”  Once I actually got into it, the weather wasn’t too terrible, and I was able to do what I wanted.

Air Force Half Marathon 13.1 (1:31.12)

I had bigger goals for the race, and I had hoped to run faster than last years 1:27.28.  However, immediately when running, I realized how hot and humid it was, and that time was not going to happen.  I know I’m in better shape than 1:31, however, you must race for the day.  When the feels like temp are in the high 80s, and the course has no shade, you have to be smart with how you run to make it to the finish line.

Anyway, I’ll have a longer recap, but the shorter recap is I ran around 7-minute pace for the first 10 miles.  That is what felt good in the weather and on the course.  Around mile 10, I decided to hammer down the last 3 miles and ran 6:50, 6:42, 6:36.  The last half of the course is harder than the first, so I know my effort was there.  I didn’t warm up or cool down because you walk about 1.5 miles to the actual race start and it’s hard to do a warmup on the base itself (there isn’t a heck of a lot of room…I also just didn’t feel like it).

Around 11-11:30, a black flag was drawn due to heat and weather and many people were bussed off the course, unable to finish because it was dangerous.  (Black flags mean the weather is dangerous).

I will say a few things about the race itself, every single aid station had the flag marking (I distinctly remember when it went from yellow to red), and there was EMT or personnel at least every ¼ of a mile. There were plenty of aid stations as well as well.  It was just a hot day on a course with no shade.

While I would have liked to be faster at the half, I am proud of how I ran in the weather. You can’t control weather and racing is about running smart.  Whether it means racing in the conditions, pacing yourself appropriately, or whatever.

Posts from the Week:

Summer Recap

Brooks Levitate 2 Review

Exploring Wells State Park (Sturbridge, MA)

Questions for you:

Have you ever raced in an extremely hot race?

What is your favorite half marathon ever?

Brooks Levitate 2 Review

Brooks Levitate 2 Review

The Brooks Levitate 2 is the newest version of the Brooks Levitate.  I ran in the original Levitate, and while it wasn’t my favorite shoe, it also wasn’t my least favorite shoe.  The Levitate 2 was updated early.

Brooks levitate 2 shoe review

At work, when people ask: “was my shoe completely redesigned from the last version,” usually the answer is no.  In this case, the Levitate to Levitate 2 has seen drastic differences.  Everything from the upper and lacing system to the heel collar is different.

The shoe is marketed for tempo runs and daily to long runs (so basically most things).  Personally, I’ll keep it to easy recovery runs.

Please keep in mind, what works for me might not work for you.  We all have different feet.

See: Why you Need to Be Fitted for Running Shoes or How to Find the Perfect Pair of Running Shoes.

Brooks Levitate 2 Upper:

The upper is all on one seam which makes it great for anyone with a wider forefoot or bunion.  There are fewer seams to rub. There is enough structure to the upper that your feet feel secure and like it’s not free-floating around in space.  I typically wear a women’s size 10-11 wide, and the 10.5 seems to work well (as usual for most Brooks shoes).

One thing, I must mention is the extreme heel collar of the shoe.  The Brooks Levitate 2 comes up higher than any other trainer out there right now. I dislike it. It is the first shoe to ever irritate my ankle and even give me a heel blister. I’ve run through over 100 pairs of shoes in my running career and never gotten a blister on my heel.  There is a first time for everything.  Once it healed, I was fine, but I hope this doesn’t start a trend for Brooks.

Brooks levitate 2 shoe review

Brooks Levitate Ride:

The Brooks Levitate 2 is one of the heaviest shoes out there.  I’m not sure, why so many bloggers continue to talk about how “light the shoe is” but the fact of the shoe is it’s heavy. The women’s size 8 weighs 9.7 compared ounces compared to the Brooks Ghost of 8.4.

Of the Brooks shoes, the Levitate is by far the firmest and poppy design. It’s far more responsive than both the Ghost and the Glycerin.  You feel the ground a lot more.

Brooks levitate 2 shoe review

One thing I found was you do slide more when the pavement is wet.  It’s not my first choice to run on a rainy day.

Other than that, I found the shoe to be responsive as advertised but I did feel like I had a Sherman tank underneath my foot.

Brooks Levitate 2 Conclusions

Like the Brooks Levitate, this wasn’t my favorite shoe.  Although, it’s much lower on my like list and I think the original Levitate was much better.

The positives are there is plenty of firm cushion in the shoe, and it fits well.  The negatives are the heel collar, the grip on a rainy day, and then the weight (a shoe I felt noticeably dragged down). I’ll keep the shoe for easy runs but won’t do anything more in it.

Shoes in my Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Brooks Glycerin 16, New Balance 1080, Underarmour Sonic, Hoka Clifton 5,

Workouts: Nike Fly, New Balance 1400, Nike LT Racer

Races: Nike Fly, Nike Lt Racer

Trails: Underarmour Horizon BPF

Questions for you:

Have you run in the Brooks Levitate 2?  I’m curious to hear others!

What is your favorite shoe? 

A Summer of Fun

A Summer of Fun

I can’t believe the “technical” summer is almost over.  I had one of the best summers I’ve had in a long time.

Not running wise, but life wise.  For many years post-college, I’ve looked back and said: eh what did I “really” do over the summer?

It’s usually the same: See a few friends? Go to the beach a few times? I always say I’ll do more things, but for whatever reason, I don’t.  Of course, like most adults, I have a job and other responsibilities, but I made time for things when I could.

This summer I made it a priority to get out of my house and do things.  On days I was off from work, I traveled somewhere new.  I didn’t spend oodles of money going across the country every day I was off work, but I did take time to explore various parts of the state, and see family and friends, and explore.

I was lucky to go to all of these states including new to me: New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine.

States I Went to this summer

I didn’t plan the summer to be like that, and if you had asked me in May my plans, I wouldn’t have had much.

The highlight was definitely for my 28th birthday, I decided to run the Copper Mountain 25k Trail Race.  Trails aren’t something I train a lot on, but I wanted to test myself and just do things I’ve never done before. I definitely don’t regret it, and it was one of the best parts of my summer!  I highly recommend the Under Armour Copper Mountain race!

I liked running on the trails so much, I went to Killington to run the 25k there too.  It was a whole different beast to conquer, but I’m glad I did.  I found Vermont to be far more challenging and technical than Copper Mountain, but it taught me: I can do hard things.

Those were my only two races in July and August.  It’s crazy to think, it was the healthiest summer I’ve had but the least amount I’ve raced.  I don’t regret that, and I enjoyed both races.

I feel like my summer can be broken into two sections:

June versus July and August.

I started June off with a bang.  Together with my parents, we visited one of my brothers in Newport, Rhode Island while he was in school for the Navy.  Since he is stationed overseas in Spain, I haven’t seen him as much the last few years, so it was awesome.

I also ran the Newport 10 miler in about 64 minutes which I was pleased with.

The rest of June was relatively quiet, but I ran the Inaugural Bungalow Beach 5 miler in Atlantic City. I was able to hold it together and win, even with the final few strides on the sand.

Then July Came:

My husband wanted to pick up car parts in Connecticut.  I had nothing to do, so I decided to go with him. We made it a weekend adventure and ran (can you believe?) my only 5k road race of both June and July.  We also hiked in Connecticut too. On the way home, I hit my 200th diner.  Despite it not being great, 200 in 4 years is neat.  Will I make it to 300?  Who knows. Here is a recap of the best/worst in 200 so far.

The month of July itself, was actually quiet except for celebrating my 28th birthday at Copper Mountain 25k in Colorado.  I ran and tested myself with one of the hardest races I’ve done (I do think Killington is harder).

Finally August:

I thought August would be a quieter month but it wasn’t at all.  The first couple of weeks of August were.  Then I went to Killington, Vermont and ran the hardest race I’ve done.  Killington was special to me for many reasons.  The biggest was, I got to see two of my closest friends from college, my freshman year roommate, Kierstin, as well as someone who helped convince me to start running, Justin.

Running in Vermont taught me I could do long races where I’m on my feet over 3 hours. It was the longest time I’ve been on my feet as well as the hardest race I’ve done.

On Labor Day weekend, my husband and I decided to drive back to the Northeast.  I haven’t spent much time in New England until this summer!  We had planned to go to Boston, New Hampshire, and Maine. That was definitely overzealous for us looking back.  We are the type of couple not to have an itinerary and plan as we go (like we did when we went out west last year).  We decided midway through to skip Boston and save it for a trip in itself.

I ran the Boothbay Half Marathon in 1:29.50 which I’m proud of.  It was a hilly, hard, and hot day. I’m proud of how I ran with how difficult of conditions it was.

And now here we are!

Mid Septemeber and heading into the fall.  I believe fall will be just as great but in different ways.  I have no idea how long we will stay in New Jersey, and I want to make the best of everything while I’m here.  I’ve started increasing mileage and training again.  I do have a few races I’m sorting out, and once I figure that out, I’ll, share. For now, I’m heading to Dayton, Ohio this weekend for the Air Force half marathon again.

Questions for you:

How was your summer?

What is one spot you’ve wanted to go but never have? 

Training Log: Recovering, Workouts, and Rain…Lots of Rain

Training Log: Recovering, Workouts, and Rain…Lots of Rain

Last week was all about recovering from the Boothbay Half Marathon, getting in miles, and building back fitness.  I contemplated running a race, but I didn’t feel like running a 5k in the pouring rain and after a late night.

I still managed to get workouts in and good workouts at that.

Monday: 4-5 Mile Hike through Wells State Park (Mass)
Tuesday: 60-minute easy run
Wednesday: 12X400 (averaging 6:00 min pace)/400 jog between
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 60-minute easy run
Saturday: 60-minute easy run
Sunday: 17 miles with 8 at 6:58 pace

Thoughts:

As most people know, my easy runs are just that, easy.  Boring but an essential part of training.  I don’t typically bring a watch, and I could run 12-minute miles for all I know.

Since my tibia fracture in 2011, I’ve never really had the issue of going “too fast” for easy days.  Running easy doesn’t bother me.

I’ve actually recovered well from the Boothbay half last weekend.  Some races seem to take forever to recover, but for whatever reason, I’ve recovered well from Boothbay.  I think partially because while I tried my hardest for the day, under different circumstances, my legs could have run faster, so they feel like they did a workout not my fastest half marathon ever.

Wednesday: 12X400 averaging 6-minute pace with 400 jog in between

This is my favorite workout, and that’s why I like to do it.  Right now, if I feel up to getting a workout in, it is typically this one.  It’s one I can set in my GPS watch, and it will beep when it’s time to run fast or run easy.  I do it on the roads because that is typically where I race. I won’t do the workout on back to back weeks, but I haven’t been doing a workout every week either.

On to the workout itself, it was extremely hot that day, and I was shocked at how fast I went.  I was not expecting to average 6 min miles in 80+ degrees.  I felt good about that.

Sunday:  17 mile with 8 at 6:58 pace

I wanted to get a good tempo/long run in. Lately, I’ve been enjoying my long runs and running a workout in them.   The weather last Sunday was balmy. It was low 60s and pouring rain the entire time. I started off easy but as I continued to run, I felt better and my last mile was 6:46. I’ll take that weather over the 80 degrees for running (not for anything else ha ha).  I’m proud of the run and I couldn’t have asked for a better workout.

Next Week:

The upcoming week is busy preparing for my husband’s deployment.  It’s sad but it’s part of the life. Then next Weekend I’m off to Dayton, OH to run the Air Force half marathon. I ran it last year and I enjoyed myself.  (My husband competed for the MAJCOM challenge for the Air Force…this year he is not and probably going to run the race with his dad).  My goal for the race is to be a little faster than Boothbay depending on the weather.

Posts for the Week:

August Training

Boothbay Harborfest Half Marathon Recap (1:29.50)

Why Collagen Post Run?

Questions for you:

How was the weather where you are?

What is your favorite type of weather to race in? 

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